Billy Purcell Breakout diagram

The Billy Purcell Breakout Drill from Coach TJ Manastersky works on fundamentals of breakouts, such as passing, support, communication, and it leads into zone entry concepts.

TJ Manastersky shared this game with the IHS Community while he was an Assistant Coach at Union College. TJ is the Current Head Coach at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.


  • Forwards are at center ice.
  • Defenders are at opposite corners.
  • Coaches are set up in each zone.
  • On the whistle, the first D will skate and pivot forwards to backwards around the first dot.
  • The second D chips a puck behind the goal line for the first D to pick up and wheel around the net.
  • The forwards at center ice come down into their defensive zone and help with the breakout.
  • One forward goes to the boards as a breakout option and the other forward acts as a center and swings low in the middle of the ice for support.
  • The coach in the zone will take one of the forward options away. This makes the D keep their head up so they can select the appropriate passing option.
  • After the D makes the pass, this begins a 3 on 0 rush. Coaches can be an obstacle in the offensive zone and teams can work on various zone entry options before they attack the net.

Coaching Points

  • Defensemen need to pick their head up coming around the net to be aware of the opposition and where their forwards are.
  • Forwards need to work hard to get back and support their defenseman.

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